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Leafs increase Murdoch lead with Kootenay Conference sweep

Leaf Captain Jack Karran scored the winner Friday in Golden against Rockets. — The Nelson Daily file photo

The Nelson Leafs inched closer to another Murdoch Division title following a weekend sweep of Eddie Mountain teams during a road trip through the Kootenay Conference.

Nelson opened the trip by edging Golden Rockets 4-3 Friday before blasting Columbia Valley Rockies 6-0 Saturday in Invermere.

Nelson, 30-10-2-1 on the season, now holds a 15-point advantage over second-place Beaver Valley Nitehawks.

Beaver Valley lost ground on the Leafs as the Spokane Braves shocked the Nitehawks 3-1 Saturday in Fruitvale.

Special Teams, Goaltending paves the way for Leafs

Nelson’s power play was clicking on all cylinders as the Leafs scored three times with the man advantage to thump the Rockies.

Leading 2-0 after one period on goals by Keenan Crossman and Tulsen Fawcett, Nelson struck for a pair of powerplay goals to take a commanding lead in the contest.

Jack Karran, unassisted, and Shawn Campbell connected for the Leafs during the second period.

Kaleb Comishin, after Easton Jolie scored in the third period, also scored on the power play to complete the Leafs scoring.

Hunter Young made 30 saves to register the win in goal.

Nelson outshot the Rockies, and former Leaf netminder Ben Kelsch, 33-31 in the contest.

Leafs Captain seals win

Nelson captain Jack Karran’s third-period goal snapped a 3-3 tie powering Nelson to a 4-3 victory over the Golden Rockets.

The game was the second straight win for the Leafs over the Rockets. Nelson dumped Golden 4-1 last week at the NDCC Arena.

Nelson looked to be in control of the game, building a 3-1 lead early in the second period on a goal by former Golden player Shawn Grobowsky.

But Thomas Johnson and Bryce Trimmer scored before the period ended to pull the Rockets even after 40 minutes setting the stage for Karran to combine with Shawn Campbell and Tyler Nypower for the winning tally.

Nelson outshot the Rockets 33-26. The Leafs went 1-for-4 on the powerplay.

Leafs’ Game Star Emery Neilson, Nypower and Karran each finished the game with two points. Neilson scored the other goal for Nelson after Louis Ferraro had given Golden a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Nypower earns league honours

Leaf forward Tyler Nypower earned Honourable Mention status as the KIJHL gave out its January Player of the Month awards.

Dominic Turner of Golden was selected Kootenay Conference Player of the Month.

Nypower, Ryan Crisali of Beaver Valley, Jordan Kromm of Fernie, Zane Avery of Grand Forks and goalie Adam Anderson of Kimberley earned Honourable Mention.

Darian Long of 100 Mile House Wranglers was selected Okanagan Conference Player of the Month.

Braves Bear Hughes catches eye of WHL's Chiefs

Spokane Chiefs announced last week that they have signed Spokane Braves rookie forward Bear Hughes to a Western Hockey League Standard Player Agreement.

Hughes is not expected to immediately join the team but could join the Chiefs at the conclusion of the Braves season as an affiliated player.

Hughes, 17, leads all rookies in scoring in the KIJHL and is fourth in the league in points. He has compiled 39 goals and 20 assists for 59 points. He has four hat tricks on the season and posted 4 goals and 2 assists for 6 points in a game back in September.